Friday, November 30, 2007

Choose Life

Thursday was Thanksgiving.  We spent a lovely day at my sister's home with my family and a few friends.  We spent the night there and I got up at 0-dark-thirty and went black Friday shopping with my sister's children.  We spent the wee hours of the morning standing in line at Target.  Then standing in line at Kohl's.  I had a wonderful time.  My nephew is now 21 years old and my neice is turning 20.  I love those two children as if they are my very own.  Being able to spend those precious hours with them laughing and listening to them talk about their future plans blessed me beyond measure.  Later that morning as the three of us sat down to breakfast at my favorite place, Cracker Barrel, all I could say as I prayed before eatting was, "Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you."

We spent the better part of the day at my sister's later celebrating my neice's upcoming 20th birthday.  It was another evening with family and very enjoyable.  But then it was time to pack up the boys and our overnight bags and head home to Perry County.  It did not take long after entering our home to find that there was no water.  We weren't getting water in any way throughout the house.  Since God knew that we were going home to no water, He had arranged for us to have two large empty water jugs.  My husband was supposed to take them with him to deer camp the next morning.  Instead, he took them to our friend's home and filled them so that we had water to "flush" the toilet and use to brush our teeth and wash our faces.  While retrieving water at our friend's home, this friend shared that he might have a well-pump.  This left us feeling hopeful when we went to bed Friday night.

On Saturday morning, the men began trying to fix the pump.  Hours later, they called a professional.  It was then that we learned that our pump could not be fixed and would have to be replaced by a different kind of pump that would require the excavation of our yard to find our well.  The friend that had filled our water-jugs and come to help fix the problem then graciously offered their home.  We went there for supper and to have showers, but returned to our home to sleep.

On Sunday, we worshipped at our home church.  It was hymn sing Sunday, and we were blessed by our worship with our church family.  But returning home, my enthusiasm for pretending to be Laura Ingalls Wilder while boiling all our water and not being able to bathe was over.  I wanted a shower and to do our laundry.  It was then that we decided to head to my mother for however many days it would take to repair our ailing water pump.

We spent four days at my mother's.  It was touch-and-go as to getting someone to come and fix our water situation.  This week was deer season, so every plumber and excavator in Perry County, Pennsylvania was in the woods all day on Monday and Tuesday.  But on Tuesday evening, my husband arranged to meet a plumber and a back-hoe operator at our home Wednesday morning.  By 4 PM, there was water, albeit brown water, running through our pipes.

We returned to our home Thursday morning.  We had secured financing in order to pay for the necessary repairs and stopped to pick up the check on our way home from my mother's.  Once home, the water was still a light shade of brown, but after a few hours "flushing" the pipes, we now have running, clear, drinkable, batheable, flushable water.  I've never been so grateful for running water and flushing toilets in my life!

So now, you're thinking, "Great story, Lori Lynn.  And your point?"  Well, here it is.  And please bear with me because, truthfully, I'm still flushing out the meaning in my own heart.   No pun intended.   In Deuteronomy 30:19 it says ,"I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing:  therefore choose life"  It seemed as this most recent trial emerged in our life this week I went from cursing to blessing from moment to moment.

Cursing:  we got home from a lovely Thanksgiving to find no water in our home  Blessing:  friends from church instantly gave us water and offered their help repairing the problem.

Cursing:  our pump could not be fixed as quickly as we had hoped  Blessing:  those same friends opened their home to us and made us feel loved and welcomed.  And then my mother so graciously let us invade her peace and quiet.

Cursing:  getting ready for church, I had to dunk my head in a bucket of cold water in order to fix my hair for church.  Blessing:  church was a wonderful worshipful experience that blessed us immensely.

Cursing:  my husband, who lives for deer season, could not go this year and it was our 11 year old son's first opportunity to hunt deer with his daddy.  Blessing:  while driving home from church, our son said, "I'm just trying to figure out why God didn't want me to go hunting this year.  But I know He has a plan!"  I don't know where that maturity came from, but I praise God for it!

Cursing:  We could not get anyone to come out to fix the pump becuase of deer-hunting season.  Blessing:  My mother suggested calling our insurance company and asking if this might be covered by our homeowner's insurance.  Since our time was not being taken by arranging workers, my husband could take a few hours and focus on coordinating information with our insurance agent.  And the repairs may be covered!

Cursing:  We already have a considerable amount of debt due to poor choices with credit cards.  We are working hard to climb out of that debt.  We had to get a loan to pay for the costly repairs to our well.  Blessing:  We had a loan that would pay for our repair.  If we had taken the same loan which was offered to us over a month before, we would not have had any financing opportunity to pay for this repair.   Even better blessing:  My father called to offer to pay for our repair.  He now knows that we have credit card debt, which is a tough pride-pill for me to swallow, but he is still offering his help.

This verse in Deuteronomy has become so poignant to me through this trial.  I could look at this trail as nothing but a curse, but I am choosing life.  I am choosing the blessing.   This Sunday, our small group will begin studying the first chapter of James.  My friend, the wife of the man who tried to help us repair our broken pump, wrote to me telling me of how inspiring James 1 has been to her as she and her husband study it in preparation for our meeting.  She wrote, "First, we must realize that there is purpose in trials.  Second, there is wisdom in trials.  Third, there is comfort in trials knowing that this life is not all there is."

So the next blessing is the blessing of the insight of Christian sisters.  I have not processed all that this life brings me and certainly not all that this last week has brought, but God continually blesses me.  And I am called by Him to claim the blessing and NOT the curse.  Our life is one of favor.  We are the blessed of the Lord.  Join me in choosing life.  Choose blessing!

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